Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Boy Was My Face Rojo...

"The gentle reader will never, never know what a consummate ass he can become until he goes abroad. I speak now, of course, in the supposition that the gentle reader has not been abroad, and therefore is not already a consummate ass. If the case be otherwise, I beg his pardon and extend to him the cordial hand of fellowship and call him brother." - Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

If you have not yet reached the status Mr. Twain describes above, then you will - or you aren't really trying. I'd be interested to hear your humorous anecdote of a harmless faux pas, misstep, or slip-up that reveals the need for continual growth in our cultural understanding.

Why not just post your story below as a comment to this blog post? Feel free to link to your blog for more info, photos, etc. Sure, we may laugh at you, but in a most sympathetic way, because we've been there, are there, or will be there soon.

6 comments:

Randy D Nichols said...

http://shop.cafepress.com/vi-la-papa

Have you ever had a conversation with a new Catholic friend in a Spanish-speaking country and mixed up the phrases "El Papa" and "la papa?" I've been there and seen it (maybe said it) first-hand.

Lena said...

I was watching a movie with my Spanish friends and the lights were all off. A guy I'd never met came in and I was introduced... he came towards me ... i stuck out my hand for a handshake... but then he was too close for a handshake so I went for the awkward half-hug... Turns out he was going for the European kiss on the cheek, which i've heard about but haven't seen since i've been here. It was really awkward!!

But there was a strange man coming at me in the dark! I didn't even have depth perception on my side, much less intercultural savoir faire!

patty, yeah said...

I was going to originally start typing a story about my adventures with my friend in Prague last weekend about some really strange "lost in translation"

HOWEVER. THIS HAPPENED: http://img713.imageshack.us/i/hearro.jpg/

It's like the internet knows I'm half Asian. I don't even know what kind of faux pas this can be considered as.

Internet, you're a jerk.

Liz Cooney said...

Let's see...I overtly pride myself on speaking Spanish better than the average bear, however, my Spanish-speaking-skills-on-the-fly need a bit of work. It's happened more than once that I've address people as objects and objects as a people. It's embarrassing when I realize what I ACTUALLY said 15 minutes later...

Liz Cooney said...

Apparently, I've lost my English speaking skills, as well. I should have said, "I've *addressed* people as..."

Go me. Pretty soon I'll be speaking with a Catalan lisp.

Leigh said...

Emotionally, I run a tight ship. Due to years of practice, I can hold back or mask my opinions except when you mess with my food.

About a week or so ago, I was going for the total cultural immersion and chose to go to Food, Inc. - I was totally disturbed to the point of obsession. I approached the host of the show and demanded to know the next step. I realized just how nutty, I was being...Imagine doing something about something that took decades to foul up? How narcissistic can I be?